Big wide world

Large, open expanses in the design provided a challenge for fire protection system experts Wormald.
View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald brown, black
View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald at the University of Auckland Business School

Fire safety is an essential requirement for any building. At the Auckland Business School, Fletcher Construction called upon Wormald for the installation of an automatic fire protection system. Wormald has been designing, manufacturing, supplying, installing and servicing fire detection and protection systems since 1889. However, the magnitude and unusual aesthetics of the school meant the project differed from the company's usual assignments, says general manager Keith Blind.

"There are many large areas that require fire protection, including a five-level car park. In order to provide adequate protection for these areas, a complex alarm system, consisting of a fire alarm panel network with a staged evacuation system, was installed throughout the building. Also installed in the computer data centre were five Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) systems, which control the gas suppression system using Inergen gas," he says.


View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald brown, black
View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald at the University of Auckland Business School

To check for the presence of any smoke in the computer data centre, the VESDA system continuously draws air into a pipe network attached to a detector unit. The air is passed through a dual-stage filter to remove dirt, sending the clean air to a laser detection chamber for smoke detection. After the light scatter caused by any smoke is measured, the results are processed and the smoke level presented graphically.

"From there, the information is communicated to the fire alarm control panel and the relevant alert is transmitted, if required."

View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald brown, black
View of advanced fire detection system by Wormald at the University of Auckland Business School

To ensure the installation did not interfere with the aesthetics of the design, the sprinkler piping was concealed in aluminium louvres in the atrium, with only the sprinkler heads visible. The size of the installation required advanced engineering and design skills to ensure there was a continuous and pressurised water supply.

For more information, contact Wormald, 6 Portage Road, New Lynn, Auckland, freephone 0800 4 Wormald. Or visit the website: www.wormald.co.nz.

Mar 28, 2008
We know the specialists